(CNSNews.com) – Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) appeared on three of the Sunday talk shows, and he was asked by all three if he’s contemplating a third-party run for president.
In each case, Manchin played coy.
On CNN’s “State of the Union,” host Dana Bash asked Manchin if he’s open to running for president on the third-party “No Labels” ticket:
“Dana, first of all, I’m worn out,” Manchin said.
“The people are tired, sick and tired, of the fighting and division that we have and dividing the country. Abraham Lincoln said — a divided — divided, we cannot stand. We cannot, basically, have a divided country, and we cannot withstand that. We have to come together. We’re the United States.”
“So, are you considering running for president?” Bash asked again.
“We have a movement. There’s a movement,” Manchin said. “There’s a movement going on that people want to bring the extremes back to the sensible and reasonable, responsible middle.
If I can be part of trying to get a dialogue–“
“Do you want to lead that movement in a bid for president?” Bash asked again:
“I’m trying to get a dialogue to where people are saying, come on, this is ridiculous. Don’t force people to go to the extremes. No one runs their life this way.
“Let’s come back to the middle. It’s the United States of America. It’s about our country. Everyone’s worried about their own political future. I’m worried about the country.”
‘A centrist in the middle’
Manchin told NBC’s “Meet the Press,” “My filing date is January 15th in 2024, and I will make my decision maybe a little bit before that.”
Host Chuck Todd noted that Manchin has already admitted that he’s thinking about running as alternative to the extreme left and the extreme right.
“Well, first of all, Chuck, if you look the last 40 years, I’ve been involved in public service through my great state of West Virginia. And since I’ve been a senator representing the State of West Virginia, it’s always been about being a centrist in the middle.
“I tell people, I’m fiscally responsible and socially compassionate, which I think most Americans — they’ve been driven to the corners to pick a side.
“When you’re asking me what I am going to do and what my political ambitions would be, is to make the country work together and be a United States, and not to divide its states. And that’s what I’ve seen happen over the period of time.
“I’m going to do whatever I can to have a voice in that middle that we can basically force both sides to say, ‘Wait a minute, you’ve gone to extremes. You’ve got to start coming back. You’ve got to find ways to solve problems. You can’t solve them from the extreme right and the extreme left. You can’t make people make a — pick a side…I think we can do better than that. And if we can change that dialogue and have a movement, Chuck, then we’ve done our job.”
‘Sensible, reasonable middle’
And finally, on “Fox News Sunday,” Manchin said he’s going to do his job as senator:
“I want to get this…debt ceiling. I want to get this behind us, pay our debts, start trying to get our expenses down. We can do this. We can reel in — them in, the expenses that we have, and the debt that we’re accumulating.
“For 21 years, Shannon, we have spent more money in America than we’ve taken in. You can’t run your household that way. No business can survive that way. But yet here we are.
“We’re not doing our budget process the way we’re supposed to, to get it done on time. That saves billions of dollars. I’ve got a lot of work to do. And every other senator and congressperson does. Everybody’s worried about the election.”
Host Shannon Bream asked Manchin if he can better influence that conversation as a presidential candidate:
“Well, you know, everybody’s worried about who’s running for what and who’s going to be this. My main concern, can we start a dialogue? Do people — are – I’m – people are wore out, Shannon. They’re tired. All we have is this bickering and fighting. They say, can’t we come together?
“…Can’t we basically bring the extremes back to where they’re supposed to be in a sensible, reasonable middle?”
Manchin, to the relief of Republicans, was one of two Democrats who refused to abolish the Senate filibuster rule in the last Congress, thus blocking the Democrats’ Build Back Better entitlement agenda.
But the mercurial Manchin also dashed Republican hopes by casing a yes vote for the Democrats’ so-called Inflation Reduction Act, which is really a green energy agenda bill.
Now Manchin is complaining about that law, writing in The Wall Street Journal last week that “unelected ideologues, bureaucrats and appointees seem determined to violate and subvert the law to advance a partisan agenda that ignores both energy and fiscal security.”
Manchin said those unelected people are “redefining ‘domestic energy’ to increase clean-energy spending to potentially deficit-breaking levels.”
“The administration is attempting at every turn to implement the bill it wanted, not the bill Congress actually passed,” Manchin complained. “I believe the only person who can rein in this extremism is Mr. Biden,” he said.
Manchin complained about the way the Inflation Reduction Act is being implemented on all three talk shows on Sunday, telling “Meet the Press” that he plans to fight against what’s happening (because of his vote, by the way):
“I’m saying that basically what we agreed on, the president and I agreed on, what this bill would do, it would give us energy security; it would bring manufacturing back to America as quickly as possible; we would not be relying on a foreign supply chain such as China to run our transportation mode, we talked about all of that. We would pay down debt for the first time in 20 years.
“We talked about all of that. We agreed exactly that’s what it should do. And now to have different parts of his administration basically administering it and writing rules and regulation that are totally foreign to what we did, it is wrong. And I’m going to fight that.
“You need to speak truth to power, but basically hold people accountable. And I’m hopeful that the president will step forward and tell his administration we will follow the law; we will do what the bill is intended to do. I’m going to fight that.”
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